WHU General

WHU mourns the death of Professor Horst Albach

In Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Horst Albach, WHU has lost one of its founding fathers and an outstanding expert and teacher in business administration

In Professor Horst Albach, WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management mourns the passing of a man who played a key role in preparing and supporting the founding of the business school in 1984, and who constantly drove forward the school’s development and expansion. As one of six professors in the university's Founding Senate, Horst Albach was one of the leading figures in the conception and development of the private WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, which was situated in Koblenz at that time. "WHU owes Horst Albach a lot. We are deeply saddened," said Professor Markus Rudolf, Dean of WHU. "Together with his colleagues in the Founding Senate and on the Board of Trustees of the WHU Foundation, Horst Albach has made it possible that today there is a business school of international standing in Vallendar, Rhineland-Palatinate, and in Düsseldorf, where hundreds of talented young people are trained to be be business leaders in German and international companies or to found their own companies." Indeed, the pioneers of WHU demonstrated a great deal of courage and commitment, because for the German higher education landscape in the 1980s, the concept of a private business school was quite new and fraught with considerable risk.

Horst Albach's achievements were not limited to his involvement in the founding of WHU. He was also a highly respected academic. For his academic achievements, nine universities awarded him honorary doctorates, including WHU. As a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities, the German Council of Economic Experts ("Wirtschaftsweise"), the Government Commission on the Privatization of German Railways, and through his work on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Federal Ministry of Economics, he advised federal governments on economic issues for almost forty years. Albach was also active on important boards of well-known German companies.

"Courage and commitment, as demonstrated by Horst Albach, were already the core values of WHU at it’s foundation in the 1980s," said Dean Rudolf. "They are still the DNA of WHU today, and we will always uphold these values and the memory of this outstanding man and continue to move forward as an institution with courageous steps."

Born in 1931 in Essen an der Ruhr, Albach initially studied business administration, economics and law at the University of Cologne. In 1956, he became an assistant to Professor Erich Gutenberg, whose daughter he later married. After his habilitation in 1960 in business administration and positions as a private lecturer in Graz and Kiel, he taught for almost thirty years at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn. He then continued his work at the Free University of Berlin and, after reunification, helped to establish the Faculty of Economics at the Humboldt University of Berlin. From 1987 to 1990, he held the endowed chair of "International Management" at WHU. Visiting professorships took him to numerous other countries. Since 1990, Horst Albach has been an honorary professor at WHU.

Professor Albach's outstanding commitment to the Federal Republic of Germany was honored in 2001 with the "Great Cross of Merit with Star". He is a recipient of the Order of Merit of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate and the Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Other nations also honored him with awards. For his services to science, Albach was the only economist to date to be awarded the Order "Pour le Mérite" in 2000.